Friday, November 26, 2010

December R-12: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k

*** Update #1 (11/30) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 2, dated 11/28/10, with several minor corrections and clarifications from a scouting trip.  This is most likely the final draft.  Current forecast looks at least dry, but some chilly temperatures and strong northwest winds appear to be on tap.  Those winds should speed our way on the Lafayette to Milford leg.  And with a bit of luck, the winds might start abating as we head back north in the later part of the afternoon.

Course notes:
Mile 1.3: As noted on the cuesheet, please watch for fast traffic on your right as you merge with Rt 94 North.
Mile 15.9: The Stillwater General store is off course, ~0.2 miles to the right -- if you need a hot drink to warm up, this would be a good option.
Mile 17.6 (Controle 2): This is an information controle that happens to be at a post office (answer the question that will be listed on your brevet card).  The post office will probably be open, if you need to get warmed up, but there are no services available.   As you approach this controle, you will actually see the words "Robins General Store" painted on the outside of the building (as indicated on the cuesheet).  But the general store is long gone, and has now been converted into a post office.  Be sure to bring a pencil along, to record your answer.  Please note that this controle is un-timed, so if you get a mechanical or are delayed at the start, you have until controle 3 at mile 29.9 to make up some time.
Mile 25.3: As noted on the cuesheet, this is a steep twisty descent, with two 1-lane bridges at the bottom that might have on-coming traffic.  Please take extra care through this area.
Mile 29.9 (Controle 3): The hot chocolate w/whipped cream and pies are highly recommended.
Mile 124.3 (Controle 6): As you approach Portland near the end, you will be passing the Portland Park N' Ride (where you will be parking your car).  The Park N' Ride is the official end of the brevet and is listed at the final controle.  So you can stop there, and load your bike in your car.  However, you need to then drive the remaining 0.4 miles back to the Portland Diner and get your card signed at the cashier.  There will also be a final sign-in sheet at the cashier to record your time (use your arrival time at the Park N RIde) and leave your brevet card in the envelope there as well.

There will be sign-in sheets at controle #4 (Great Meadows) and controle #5 (Milford) ... please remember to initial these and record your time.  

*** Original Post ***
The December R-12 is on Saturday, December 4th. The website has been recently updated with draft 1 of the cuesheet. We'll be running the same course as the November R-12 in the reverse direction: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k. The November event was certainly a well documented event; the ride report:
... has links to ride reports and photo albums.

The start/finish is at the Portland diner, where you can top-off with a good breakfast and finish with a post-ride gathering. Please note that the parking is at the Park N' Ride lot, 0.3 miles from the start:

Lights and reflective gear will be checked. Be sure to check back on the PA message board for any updates ... the cuesheet will likely be updated after an upcoming course checkout.

I've already heard from a couple of riders planning to clip-in. If you're planning to join us too, send a note to ride organizer Bill Olsen:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Rider List (as of 12/3) ***
Barb Anderson
Ron Anderson
Michael Anderson
Al Blanchette
Jon Clamp
Bob Dye
John Fuco
Ixsa Gollihur
Houston Joost

Mark Kaufman
Joe Kratovil
Robin Landis
Jonathan Levitt
Andrew Mead
George Metzler
Christine Newman
Bill Olsen (Organizer)
Ed Pavelka
Bill  Reagan
Tom Rosenbauer (RBA)
Paul Shapiro
John Silkowski
Kieran White
Len Zawodniak

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stillwater 200k Preliminary Results and Report

Preliminary results for the Nov. 6 Stillwater 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be sent to RUSA later this week, and then become final, pending RUSA approval.

The mid-30F's at the start were a bit warmer than forecasted.  The bright early morning sunshine made for a spectacular run down the Delaware River, with the mist and fog making quite sight to behold.  I saw at least one photographer along the way, capturing the moment.  It truly was a wonderful time to be out on the bike and enjoy the last remnants of fall -- one of my favorite time of the year.  The clouds moved in shortly after midday, and along with the stiff northwest wind, the afternoon actually felt colder than the morning.  The hot chocolate at the Millside Cafe really hit the spot (I think it was one part whipped cream to one part hot chocolate).  And special thanks to Len Zawodniak for recommending the pecan pie -- that really hit the spot.  And thanks also, to Don Jagel for leading the way with the sign-in sheets.

24 of the 24 starters made it around the course within the time limit, for another 100% completion ... congratulations to all the riders, for this excellent result.  Of note, Ixsa Gollihur recorded her first official Eastern PA completion, after coming up a bit short on 3 previous tries (one of which was the infamously cold and windy brevet this past January).  It certainly was a hard earned result, riding mostly solo all day through the head winds and a couple of hours of night riding in unfamiliar terrain.  Well done Ixsa!

Also of note, Mark Kaufman completed his R-12 series.  Mark joins Eric Keller in what has to be a very exclusive club: an R-12 series that starts with one's very first brevet.  And in Mark's case, his first R-12 event last December, was the infamously snowy one, that until January's ride, had set the standard for "Epic Winter Conditions" on the Eastern PA series.  As Mark said after that one, 'the rest should be easy, after that!'  Well done Mark!

First finisher's Rick Carpenter and Bill Fischer got around in 8:35, with Rick again riding his fixed-gear bike.  Rick writes: "...A uniquely enjoyable route through NW NJ; particularly the latter portion from Great Meadows to Columbia. Oh, and you earned my heartfelt  gratitude in excluding "The Finest Pizza Money Can Buy" - nicely done... "  Rick is of course, referring to 'Louie's Pizza', used as a controle in Great Meadows on previous events:

Peter Phillips is now 2 for 2 with yet another broken chain (will he perhaps go for a 3-peat?).  Having inadvertently left his chain repair at home, Peter fortunately had St. Bill Olsen behind him, our local "patron saint of on-the-road bike repairs".  Bill luckily had a campy pin among his spare parts.

The DC area tandem team piloted by Ed Felker and stoker Mary Gersema were pleasantly surprised to find a "Tandem Friendly" course, after all the challenging climbs they faced this past summer on the Endless Mountains 1000k.  And fellow rider Paul Shapiro noted that the course went near some of the toughest climbs in the area -- Lommasson's Glen, Rt 519 (into Milford), Adamic, Bellis, Iron Bridge, and Millbrook to name a few. Ed has posted a great ride report (along with pictures) at:
... and be sure to check out Mary's excellent blog and pictures at:
Between Ed and Mary, this was one well documented ride!
Fellow DC randonneur, Lane Giardina writes: "...Thanks again for yesterday's great ride.  It was a lovely route shared with a really nice group of riders....".

-- Thanks! It's always a real pleasure when the DC folks come up for a visit.

If you have any other comments, stories, or pictures to share, you can forward them to me.

Next up, is "Le Retour du Stillwater 200k" on December 4, which wraps up the 2010 brevet season.  This is basically the same course as the Stillwater 200k, but in the reverse direction (clockwise) heading to Stillwater first.